Books of classic literature withstand the test of time for a very good reason - they contain universal themes, tropes, images, and emotions that everyone can relate to and learn from. In high school or college, you were probably required to read what are considered to be the best books in the world, but a semester or two is barely enough time to truly appreciate the intricacies of a good novel. The good news is that it's so easy to find classic literature and catch up on the fine books you missed out on during your student days! Below is a list of the five best books of all time.
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. This novel has a little something for every reader: treachery, danger, sword fights, and love. D'Aartagnon journeys to join the musketeers in Paris and gets caught up in major plots along the way. Dumas' characters are very real and the prose is superb, making it a book you can't put down.
- Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Payton. South African priest Stephen Kumalo is on a quest to find his runaway son, who went to Johannesburg to find a better life. Instead, however, Kumalo finds out about his son's heinous crimes that took place amidst a changing South Africa. This novel touches upon the apartheid system of South Africa and shows man's savage and vicious side, while still offering a glimmer of hope.
- 1984 by George Orwell. The most famous satirical novel, 1984 paints a bleak future for us where history is erased while it happens and where Big Brother watches every single move you make. The dystopia of the future that awaits the post World War II world is morbidly fascinating and functions as a cautionary tale.
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Yet another novel that looks at the darker side of man, this book is the survival story of a group of British schoolboys marooned on an island. Factions form and the boys quickly turn into men who turn to warfare and murder.
- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. The story of Ethan Frome is one of tragedy and despair. An unhappy husband falls in love with his wife's cousin, and yet he cannot bring himself to leave his wife. His suicide attempt fails and the plot spirals downwards as the three characters' lives get shattered. It is not a very happy book, but it is beautiful in its honesty.
One of the marvels about the Internet is that it also functions as an online library and bookstore, with a comprehensive list of classic literature, British literature, American literature, and world literature. There are many websites that offer the full-print text of classic novels as PDF files and e-books entirely for free! This is because once a novel belongs to the public domain, anyone can distribute it freely. You can also buy books online through Amazon.com, as actual books or in e-book form through the Kindle. Finally, you can search for these titles at your local library - they're sure to have them.